Day 6 – homeward bound!

Today is the first day that I actually feel ready to go home. I am less disorientated, and I feel confident that the painkillers (codeine and paracetamol) are on top of my pain. So when the smiley physiotherapists arrive (my ward roommates and I have named them the physio terrorists – a name they are strangely proud of), I am ready to tackle the stairs. This is important because once I can demonstrate I can manage on stairs using crutches, I can go home. Bring it on!

Disappointingly, my enthusiasm does not actually extend to being able to walk to the stairs – a distance of about 20 metres. Dammit, not the most impressive start. However, on being wheeled to the stairs, I find it easier and less daunting than I had imagined. Stairs, it turns out, are easier for me than walking on the flat. Hooray! This means I’ve passed the test! The smiley physio terrorists seem very pleased.

Walking back to my bed, I can’t wait to get back in it. I feel immensely vulnerable, shaky and stumbly. Every little wobble hurts. It’s hard to go in a straight line, it’s hard to go around corners. It’s sore and frankly difficult to move my right foot forward, and well, that’s rather an essential part of walking isn’t it! I am relieved and exhausted once I’m in bed, but resting helps a lot. Learning to walk again is turning out to be quite hard work, but this is normal and it’s early days. I keep being told by doctors that I’m doing very well and to take it easy, and I’m so tired I don’t answer back once! This is rather shocking for Irish, I think he’s not used to a placid wife!

It turns out I get a looong rest after that, because it takes about 6 hours for the pharmacy to put my meds together so that I can be discharged. This was the only part of my hospital stay which was underwhelming. Hospital pharmacists are slow – I’m very glad I was allowed to keep my bed and not sent to sit in the discharge lounge for this time (thank you nurses).

So, at peak rush hour in London, we head away from UCLH on the five hour journey back to Devon. The traffic is kind to us and once we work out how to get my useless legs into the car, it’s relatively comfortable. It feels AMAZING to be home!


Bonus side effect of major pelvic surgery: beautiful flowers.

Home at last! Here are some good tips for managing the journey home.

1) Bring pillows to add height to your car seat. Once you’re in, push the seat back to give you as much legroom as possible.

2) Audiobooks are great to use in the car when you dont feel like talking and when music feels too grating. You can borrow them from your library for free. I liked the detective story ones. I could follow the plot, but I also found the ‘being read to’ element really soothing and soporific. I snoozed a lot on the way home.

3) Loose, jersey trousers (like yoga pants) in a size too big are the easiest thing to wear.

4) Don’t even think about wearing underwear! Going commando is better than uncomfortable seams stretching across your swollen and over sensitised skin. In fact, I may never wear underwear again!

So there we have it. I’ve had better reasons to be knickerless, but I’ve never been happier to be home.

Leave a comment


  1. XXXX for you x

  2. Lye

     /  August 31, 2012

    Thank you for sharing your tips. Please update on how you’re doing!

    • So sorry I’ve been slow with the updates! It took a while to get there – I was a bit spaced out for the first couple of weeks, but will be posting more regularly again now. I’m glad the tips are helping – I’m hoping I’ll find them useful too, for PAO number 2 next year! 🙂


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